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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Land Cover Change Induced by a Fire Event on the Surface Energy Fluxes Derived from Remote Sensing

by Juan M. Sánchez 1,*, Mar Bisquert 1,†, Eva Rubio 2,† and Vicente Caselles 3,†
1
Applied Physics Department, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Campus University,16071 Cuenca, Spain
2
Applied Physics Department, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avda. España s/n, 2071 Albacete, Spain
3
Earth Physics and Thermodynamics Department, University of Valencia, C/Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Gabriel Senay, Parth Sarathi Roy and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(11), 14899-14915; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs71114899
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 11 October 2015 / Accepted: 29 October 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Forest fires affect the natural cycle of the vegetation, and the structure and functioning of ecosystems. As a consequence of defoliation and vegetation mortality, surface energy flux patterns can suffer variations. Remote sensing techniques together with surface energy balance modeling offer the opportunity to explore these changes. In this paper we focus on a Mediterranean forest ecosystem. A fire event occurred in 2001 in Almodóvar del Pinar (Spain) affecting a pine and shrub area. A two-source energy balance approach was applied to a set of Landsat 5-TM and Landsat 7-EMT+ images to estimate the surface fluxes in the area. Three post-fire periods were analyzed, six, seven, nine, and 11 years after the fire event. Results showed the regeneration of the shrub area in 6–7 years, in contrast to the pine area, where an important decrease in evapotranspiration, around 1 mm·day−1, remained. Differences in evapotranspiration were mitigated nine and 11 years after the fire in the pine area, whereas significant deviations in the rest of the terms of the energy balance equation were still observed. The combined effect of changes in the vegetation structure and surface variables, such as land surface temperature, albedo, or vegetation coverage, is responsible for these variations in the surface energy flux patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface energy fluxes; forest fire; land cover change; Landsat; evapotranspiration surface energy fluxes; forest fire; land cover change; Landsat; evapotranspiration
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Sánchez, J.M.; Bisquert, M.; Rubio, E.; Caselles, V. Impact of Land Cover Change Induced by a Fire Event on the Surface Energy Fluxes Derived from Remote Sensing. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 14899-14915.

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